Nate O’Brien was a freshman at Penn State when he made his first YouTube video. He was just trying to make some extra money. Before that, he was mowing lawns and selling firewood. YouTube seemed easier, and Nate saw a gap in the personal finance space, so he went for it.
He started off making side hustle videos. They performed well, but Nate didn’t wanna be thought of as just another slimy “make money online” guy, so he pivoted and began covering topics like budgeting, productivity, minimalism, and investing.
“The lifestyle stuff is a lot more fulfilling,” he said on a recent podcast. “You make a lot less money on it, just ’cause ad rates are way lower, but I don’t really mind. I’ll willingly make less money.”
He’s a rare breed as far as influencers go. Nate could easily be selling a course for, say, $997, and make a killing with it, but he chooses not to.
“I know that doesn’t resonate with a lot of people, but I do all this for fun,” he explained. “Money’s a byproduct of whatever I do. That’s just how I work.”
It’s not surprising then, that his approach to uploading is almost the exact opposite of the rest of the industry. Instead of sticking to a rigorous posting schedule, sometimes he’ll go weeks—or even a full month or more—without releasing a new video.
Yet, Nate has no problem gaining subscribers and stair-steppin’ his ad revenue month after month. He attributes some of this to luck: he got in at the right time, before everyone and their brother were making personal finance videos; but a lot of it comes down to his “evergreen” topics that rank well organically.
He’s got videos that are two years old that are getting just as many views as when he first published them. This allows him to hop off the content creation hamster wheel, disconnect, travel, and actually enjoy life.
Regarding Nate O’Brien’s net worth
Almost all of Nate’s income comes from YouTube. The biggest money-maker is ad revenue of course. Then there’s sponsorships and affiliate commissions.
All told, his active income is about $50,000 per month at the time of writing this. Plus investments. Which, because he started so young, are gonna compound like crazy.
Because Nate lives so frugally, other than taxes, he’s holding onto (or, even better, investing) most of what he makes. With that in mind, his net worth has to be in the neighborhood of $1.5 million dollars, based on everything he’s made public.
The funny thing is, he’s not like a lot of these YouTube millionaires, where it’s never enough. Nate openly admits that he easily loses motivation with each new income level he hits. Not only that, he wants to be retired by the time he turns 24.
His plan? Make a few million bucks in a short period of time, live cheaply, invest wisely, and just sorta cruise the rest of his life.
For 2021, Nate will launch a physical product of some sort (probably a planner). If everything goes well, he believes this will bump his revenue up to $1,000,000 for the year. Here’s more: